Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How Do I Love Thee....

My Mom and Dad love me and DixieLee very, very much. We know that by lots of the things they do for us. Things like giving us good food and lots of toys and treats. They talk to us, pet us, give us tushie rubs and even give us kisses but the one thing they don’t do is give us hugs.

Humans like to hug one another. Human hug when they like someone very much. I don’t like to be hugged because when a human hugs you, they make moving away hard to do. In dog language, putting arms (or paws) around someone, it is a sign of dominance. The one doing the hugging is dominate over the one getting the hugs.

I love my Mom and Dad very much. After all, they are members of my pack and pack members love each other. Pack members also keep each other safe.  DixieLee and I make sure Mom and Dad are always safe. We follow them from room to room. If they go into a room and close the door, we guard the door for them.

We make sure they are safe when they sleep. DixieLee sleeps on the bed until Mom and Dad are asleep and then we trade places. I guard from the bed and DixieLee guards from the sofa in the living room. Sleeping is the bestest way that I let Mom know I love her. I sleep on her feet or stretch out and cuddle my whole body on hers.

Touching is the bestest way to let humans know you love them. When we are out walking and stop to talk with other people, I like to lean against Dad’s leg. When Mom sits on the couch and she puts her feet on the table, she makes a nice bridge to walk under. If I stop when walking under her legs, she will rub my tushie or behind my ears.

One of DixieLee’s favorite places to play fight is under Mom’s legs when she is sitting at her computer. She thinks I can’t get her but I can.  Mom laughs because our playing makes her chair roll across the room.

Playing shows love too. We love to get our humans to play with us. I just have to drop a ball at their feet and they will pick it throw it for me. DixieLee likes to play tug of war. I don’t know how she does it but she always manages to end a game of tug of war with Dad with a belly rub.

We miss Mom and Dad when they leave the house and make sure we give them a big welcome when they come home. We know the sounds of their cars and wait at the door for them. We make sure they get lots of wiggles and whines and kisses every time.

Love is a big thing and we have lots of it at our house. What do you do to let your humans know you love them lots?

Your loving friend,

Zeva


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

It's A Dog's Life

You may not think so but being a dog can be stressful. Humans think dogs have easy lives. After all, many of us have nice families to share our houses with. We get healthy food and treats and get to go for walks and rides in cars.

You see our happy smiles and wagging tails and think everything is just fine but do you notice when we pant or lick excessively. I bet you notice when we chew up the furniture or pee in the house. Those are some big signs that we are stressed.

Dogs need lots of physical and mental exercise otherwise we get bored and boredom causes stress.  It can be really stressful for working dogs.  Working dogs can’t spend their days sleeping in their crates. I like to relax but even I can’t sleep all day.

Not having enough physical or mental activity is only one thing that stresses us out. Loud noises are very stressful too. Things like thunderstorms and fireworks are very loud but they don’t happen all the time like some of the noise we deal with every day.

Dogs have extra good senses and our hearing is lots more sensitive than human’s hearing. Humans like to play music and although we like music, we don’t like it extra loud. In our house the television is on all the time but Mom keeps the sound low. I like to watch the peoples and animals on the screen but I don’t like to hear some of the loud noises that the television makes.

We live on a street with not many cars but DixieLee and I can hear the big trucks that travel along the highway not so far away. I bet the dogs who live in the houses near the highway find the noise from those big trucks very stressful.

Yelling is the worst noise ever! Mom and Dad are old and they don’t hear good so sometimes when they talk when they are in different rooms they get really loud. When that happens, DixieLee barks to remind them that they should be using indoor voices when they are in the house.

And you should never ever use loud voices when training. Learning new things is stressful enough and yelling makes it even harder.

I’m pretty easy going so I don’t get stressed out often but DixieLee stresses a lot so Mom tries to make it so we don’t get stressed too much. One way is to make things routine. When we know when things are supposed to happen we know what we need to do.

Dad gets awake every day at the same time and we know he will get our breakfast soon. We know when Mom goes to work we have to go into our crates but we know Dad will come home soon and we can be in the whole house or in our pen if we want.

Mom and Dad also spend lots of time with us.  They take us for walks and talk to us all the time to help us have stress free lives.

I like being a dog and I do have a good life but it does get stressful some times.  I'm glad I get to live in a house with peoples who understand and try to keep my life stress free.  Most of the time....

I have to stop now and rest because Mom used her loud voice today when the man came in the big brown truck and we wouldn't stop barking.

Your totally stressed friend,

Zeva

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eau de Stinky Stuff

Boy was Dad mad!  We were all out for a nice long walk.  We sometimes walk in a very old cemetery because there are no cars and I can walk off leash.   As I said, we were having a very nice walk when all of a sudden Dad started running toward me yelling “No, no, no”.

Geeezzzzz.  You would have thought the world was coming to an end when all I was doing was rolling in some nice fresh poop that I found.  I know that Mom and Dad, like most humans, think poop is yucky but it isn’t to us dogs.  Humans forget that a dog’s nose can smell a zillion times better than a human’s nose.   A human only smells one thing at a time while we smell lots of different things.  And a single pile of poop or rotting something has lots and lots of different smell and we can tell what each one is.

Dogs have been rolling in poop and other stinky stuff since forever ago.  Some humans say it is because our smelling is so good we can tell that some of the yucky stuff was actually food at one time.   That would be very useful for our ancestors to know if there was some kind of food nearby.

The smelling food theory is one that humans thought up to explain why we like to smell yucky stuff but that doesn’t tell them why we roll in it.  Maybe it is because dogs don’t have cell phones so we can’t call our friends and tell them where we have been.  We can’t take photos to share on Facebook either.  Rolling in stinky stuff tells my friends and animals I meet along the way where I have been.  Rolling in the stinky stuff also puts my own scent down and lets anyone who comes along later know I was there too.

If I were hunting for food, rolling in poop or other yucky stuff would mask my real scent so my prey wouldn’t know that I was sneaking up on them.  They would just think it was the yucky stuff they had been smelling all along.  If I were the one being hunted, covering myself with another scent would help me hide better.

DixieLee and I don’t have to take baths like some dogs.  When we’ve been at the groomer to get out nails clipped, I’ve smelled dogs who have just had a bath.  To tell you the truth, I think they are too stinky and I much prefer rotting vegetables to bath stuff.

Humans are always trying to figure out “why” we do things.  Want to know a secret?  Sometimes we do stuff just because it’s fun.

Your stinky friend,
Zeva

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Back To School

Now that nice weather is coming, Mom and Dad want to be able to take us to lots of fun places like Dog Mountain and hiking in the White Mountains. We love going places with our Mom and Dad but it is important that we are on our best behavior when we do.

You see, only good dogs, with excellent manners, should go to places where there are lots of people and other dogs. Good dogs are dogs who listen to their humans about things like coming when called and dropping things we shouldn’t have picked up in the first place. One of the most super duper important things a good dog knows is how to leash walk well.

I admit I am not an excellent leash walker. Once we leave our yard, there are lots and lots of different things to see and smell that I tend to want to sniff every tree and rock and fire hydrant I see. I am trying to be a better leash walker, but it isn’t easy so Mom is taking us back to school.

Well, I’m going “back” to school because I did have school when I was really little but for DixieLee, going to school is a new experience. She said that when she lived with Mama Mel, she had some training but never went to “real” school.

We don’t go to the school yet, the teacher comes to our house. We like her a lot cuz she brings really good treats when she comes. She teaches us new commands and then we practice with Mom during the week.

I’m a good learner and DixieLee is getting better every week. Mom is thrilled that she knows “leave it” now cuz it's lots easier getting Dad’s socks back. This morning Mom noticed that DixieLee was hiding in her crate, chewing on a pencil.  Mom called "DixieLee Come" and she came out of her crate right away and then dropped the chewed up pencil as soon as she was told to “leave it”. DixieLee was so proud that she did good at listening that she gave Mom a big smile.

She still has to learned that just because something falls on the floor, it doesn’t mean it is hers but one thing at a time.

One of the hardest things we are learning is how not to bark when someone comes up our street. We think it is important to let Mom and Dad know such things like when the mail person comes but they say it isn’t necessary.

School stuff is fun but if we had to choose what we like best about school, I’d say it is recess.

Learning new things is so fun.  Maybe some day we’ll take Agility Training. Then again, agility training takes lots and lots of energy and I prefer conserving my energy for important things like eating.

Your scholarly friend,

Zeva

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